Monday, March 30, 2015

My Own Personal Wishing Well

"Throw me a penny and I'll make you a dream, you find that life's not always what it seems... Dream for a while of the things that make you smile. 'Cause you know, don't you know, oh you know that I'm your wishing well."- Black Sabbath's Wishing Well.

Visit almost any public fountain, pond, or well and you're sure to find coins at the bottom, offerings given with the hopes of a dream coming true. While the practice at one time carried a religious ritual with it, today's practice is more fun than anything- but nevertheless still has some superstitious overtones. I'd rather not toss my money away on prayers to false deities, but I do have my own personal wishing well in which I put my pocket change. Best of all, there's no letdown in unanswered hopes.

I typically throw said pocket change into an old container (disguised as a container of screen cleaning wipes), where it stays for a few months until the next card show. I can usually collect $20-$30 in between shows, which pretty much helps fund the quarterly event. I recently decided that I wasn't going to go to the next show, so that leaves me with some money to spend right here, right now. Taking a cue from Ronnie James Dio, let's take a look at some of things that make me smile and sent me on a COMC shopping spree, shall we?


I don't get nearly as excited about collecting prospects as I once did, but I still look forward to seeing who's included in the Braves Topps Debut team set as well as in Heritage's Minor League release.

Neither of those sets can hold a candle to those Upper Deck produced in the early to mid-nineties. Perhaps my preference for those sets is rooted more in the prospects than anything.

After all, we had wonderful, terrific names like...Wonderful Terrific Monds III. (whose father, the II, played one year in the NFL.)

There's also his doppelgänger, Jermaine Dye

Speaking of wonderful and terrific names- there was Hiawatha Terrell Wade (although the card doesn't show his first name). Not only did Terrell have a wonderful name, but a terrific story, as well. As the back of the Road to the Show card states, Wade was signed after a tryout camp and became one of the top pitching prospects in the minors only a few years later.

Upper Deck also had some larger than life photos- like this one of Damon Hollins, who looks like he's about to do some crushing on the diamond. This has to be one of the best minor league card photos ever produced. Ballpark lights in the bottom right corner; the classic Durham Bulls uniform; the angle from which this photo was taken. Classic.

Those 90s Sets

Stadium Club. Upper Deck. Collector's Choice. Trades. Crashes. Crushing. Smiles, smiles, and more smiles.

The 90s was the decade I returned to the hobby after a hiatus of about seven or eight years. It's also the time when my passion for Braves baseball went to a whole other level. Without the internet it could be challenging to put together team sets, but I somehow found a way. That was usually through advertisements in the SCD. One dealer (Gary Walters) always seemed to have what I needed. I still prefer the advantages of the internet age and the ease of finding what you want/need.

80s and 90s NFL

I can't pinpoint when my love for the NFL took a sharp turn south, but my interest has severely waned over the past ten years or so. My interest in football cards has seen an even more dramatic shift over that same course of time. Of course, that would be anything from 1993 to the present. Cards from 1980-1992 (actually, 1978-1992)...well, that's another story.

While I have never been a fan of the 49ers or Joe Montana, I am a fan of 1991 and 1992 Upper Deck football. The '92 set, in my opinion, was one of the best looking sets of all-time and something about the regular-issue Montanta card caused me to add it to my cart. Of course I had to then add the 'gold' insert card to go with Joe's regular card. I will say this: much like George Brett (whom I didn't like during his playing days), I have really grown to appreciate Joe Montana years after his playing career ended.

As far as the Warren Moon card,  I was a twenty-two year old bachelor when these things came out. Thus, I ate my fair share of Domino's Pizza. I also had plenty of these QB Challenge cards back then, too. For some reason, I always had a soft spot in my heart for the Houston Oilers and Warren Moon was always a favorite of mine. Domino's- not so much.

80s and Early 90s NBA

I wouldn't say my current interest in the NBA is dead, but it is on life support and the only thing keeping it alive is the Portland Trail Blazers. But that's nothing new. It's been like that since, oh, I don't know, like the beginning of 1995.

The first few NBA sets produced by Upper Deck were as good as it gets. The inaugural set, in particular, would be on my 'Mount Rushmore' of basketball sets (when it comes to designs). The top of my all-time favorite basketball player would be the Glyde-  Clyde Drexler


  1. you sent me to the net in search of the Damon Hollins card. What an incredible shot!

    1. I know, right?! Miss those kind of photos on cards; most of today's sets don't contain a good variety of shots.